The Dittrick Medical History Center explores the history of medicine through a museum, archives, rare books collections, artifacts, and images. It was originally a part of the Cleveland Medical Library Association that dates to 1894, but is now an interdisciplinary study center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve University.
The museum was long focused on and maintained by doctors to document their own profession, but now there is a broader focus on how health and medicine impacts everyone. One exhibition in the museum focuses on contraception, and another on childbirth and how it has changed over time.
The Dittrick also holds a large and comprehensive collection of surgical instruments and medical equipment, as well as artifacts related to bloodletting, beautiful old microscopes, and nursing uniforms from throughout history. Contained in the galleries are reproductions of doctors' offices dating from 1875 (look for the human skeleton in the corner) as well as 1930. The Blaufox Hall of diagnostic instruments is also one of the most comprehensive of its kind in exploring medical instruments that show the evolving doctor-patient relationship.
Obscura Day location: April 9, 2011.